George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Adam Babcock, 12 June 1777

From Adam Babcock

Dartmouth [Mass.] June 12th 1777

sir

The privateer Brigt. Fanny lately return’d from a successful Cruise, sent in among other prizes the Ship Ceasar, out of whose Cargo the Owners (Vizt) Thomas Mumford, William Hart, Samuel Brown, Thos Hazard John Grenell, Archibd Blair & myself—have by this conveyance presented Your Excellency with Two pieces of fine Irish Linnen1—which we beg You would do us the honour to accept as a small memorial of the very great Respect & Regard we bear to Your Excellency, and the high Sense we have of the great Obligations You have laid us under, and every Citizen of the United States—for Your many great & important Services, in repressing, under every Possible disadvantage—the Invasions of our cruel & unnatural Enemies—believe me sir, we feel ourselves, saved from impending Destruction & Slavery, by the smiles of heaven on Your Excellency’s victorious Army—Go on and prosper! till You have conquered all our Enemies and established peace & Liberty throughout this Continent, on Independent principles; and may that precious Life on which all our hopes are rested, be preserved amidst the Dangers and Deaths which surround You, long after that happy Event shall take place, to reap the Reward of all Your arduous Toils in the Feild—is the sincere Wish of us all. I have the honour to be, With the greatest Respect & Regard Your Excell’ys, most obedt humble servt

Adam Babcock

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s docket on the cover sheet indicates that he received this letter on 29 June 1777.

1The 180–ton British ship Caesar, commanded by Lucius O’Brien, was sailing from London for Jamaica with a large quantity of dry goods and other cargo in the spring of 1777 when it was captured off Barbados and carried into Dartmouth, Mass., by the armed Connecticut privateer brig Fanny, commanded by Azariah Whittlesey (see the Providence Gazette, 10 May 1777, and the Boston Gazette, 12 May 1777; see also Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 8:945, 953). In late May the owners of the Fanny petitioned the Connecticut general assembly to attempt to have the Caesar and its cargo transported to Connecticut, but the vessel and its contents were sold at public auction at Dartmouth on 4 June (see the memorial of Thomas Mumford to the Connecticut general assembly, 23 May 1777, in Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 8:1021–22, and the Independent Chronicle, 29 May 1777; see also Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 8:1040–41). The Caesar was libeled later this month in the Massachusetts admiralty court for the southern district (see William Warner to his parents, 16 May 1777, ibid., 977, and the Independent Chronicle [Boston], 26 June 1777; see also Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 9:173–74). The Connecticut general assembly at its 13 June session resolved to direct Babcock to receive some of the captured cargo at Dartmouth (Hinman, Historical Collection description begins Royal R. Hinman, comp. A Historical Collection, from Official Records, Files &c., of the Part Sustained by Connecticut, during the War of the Revolution. Hartford, 1842. description ends , 449–50). The owners of the Fanny included Babcock and Philadelphia merchant Archibald Blair as well as five other businessmen from Connecticut, Thomas Mumford of Groton, William Hart of Saybrook, Samuel Brown of Guilford, Thomas Hazard of New Haven, and John Grennell of Fairfield (see the memorial of Adam Babcock to the Massachusetts council, 17 Dec. 1776, in Naval Documents description begins William Bell Clark et al., eds. Naval Documents of the American Revolution. 11 vols. to date. Washington, D.C., 1964—. description ends , 7:503).

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